Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City
was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan
), which consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of World War II, and taking place across the country, from Sicily to the northern Po Valley. With its documentary-like visuals and its intermingled cast of actors and nonprofessionals, Italians and their American liberators, this look at the struggles of different cultures to communicate and of people to live their everyday lives in extreme circumstances is equal parts charming sentiment and vivid reality. A long-missing treasure of Italian cinema, Paisan is available here in its full original release version.
- Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
- New video interview with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
- Excerpts from rarely seen videotaped discussions Roberto Rossellini had in 1970 with faculty and students at Rice University about his craft
- Into the Future, a new visual essay about the War Trilogy by film scholar Tag Gallagher